Day 133 – A Rainier in the Sun

The night is quiet, so quiet – this has to be the quietest place I’ve ever been. The deer I spooked earlier going to pee seemed strangely loud, but things have settled in for the evening – myself included – and it’s so quiet that my eyelashes scraping against my sleeping bag are nails on a chalkboard, and my heart is thunder raging in my chest. There’s so little sound that I have no reference for what’s loud or quiet, and, so disoriented, it’s less sleeping than it is my brain deciding that the input not matching expectations requires a hard reset. In the morning, I’m well and truly ready to leave the silence of the evening behind, and my footsteps are loud as I make my way down the hill to Chinook Pass. Continue reading

Day 132 – The Badasseries of Motherhood

The whisper-yelling wakes me again in the morning, but my alarm’s already sounded, been silenced, and sounded again – that’s what I get for trying to be a bum. Waking up and not having to cook is a nice change of pace, though. Mama Lion and Boone are out so quick for having to get the both of them moving, but I’m not so far behind them. We leave a hiker enjoying the morning and another enjoying their snoozing behind. Continue reading

Day 131 – Bleating Heart

I have dreams of finishing the trail, only half-remembered on waking. That’s probably to do with the windstorm howling outside, punctuated by some kind of precipitation – kinda gets your attention, particularly when you know you have to get out into it, make it about 20 miles to your resupply before the place closes. Still, it’s 5:30, and I’m not going out into that if I don’t have to, even if I know it’s going to be light enough to hike by 6:30. I’m not terribly interested in hiking through this. Continue reading

Day 130 – At Least Once

I sleep alright after I put my earplugs in, dull the edges of the sounds around me. I wake a couple of times given that, with earplugs in, there’s no really localizing sound, and there are a couple of sounds in the night that could be… well, could be whatever; my brain doesn’t care about them, and puts me back to sleep. When my alarm goes off, all it cares about is coffee and food, and I’m the first up and first out, grabbing water at Lava Spring before I head northward into the morning. Continue reading

Day 127 – lol nope

There’s so much to catch up on when my alarm goes off at 5:50 – I start writing furiously about my Labor Day weekend and yesterday and entering Washington and and and. My sitemates start moving around 6:15, so I guess it’s cool to properly start my day. I cook and eat dinner – so much easier to eat when food is hot, even if it does take forrrrreeeeeeverrrrr to cook – and chat with my spotmates who are either being nice or being so passive aggressive that it passes for nice. Well, it’s not something I can fix now, though I do throw out another apology for rolling in late last night. I try to pull chocks fast, and I’m out by 7:45 – an hour and a half with dinn-fast, not bad – before they start making moves in earnest. Continue reading

Day 126 – Last State

We’re up pretty early, earlier than Seamus needs to be, so he can take me back to Cascade Locks. I’m wistful about leaving – Seamus has this view of the world that cuts through a lot of my the bullshit, and his honesty has this way of speeding me to conclusions I’ve nearly arrived at myself. He’s always a breath of fresh air, and my time with Alice and him has been a healing one. Still, I’ve one more state to walk, and it’s time to get to chores so I can get to walking. Continue reading

Day 125 – Just a Little Bit

It’s Labor Day, so post offices – like the one in Cascade Locks, where a new pair of shoes and my 3F sleeping bag are waiting for me – are closed, so it’s a vaguely-guilt-free zero in the Portlandian suburbs today. It’s 6am when I find myself awake-awake – curse the sun and my inability to stay asleep long while it’s up! It’s entirely too early for Seamus and Alice to be moving, so I guess this means getting my writing and internetting out of the way so I can spend as much of my waking time chilling with them as possible.  Continue reading

Day 124 – Soar

6am is the new 5am – between the days getting shorter and the seemingly ever-present cloud cover, it’s basically still dark. But by the time I deflate my sleeping pad and evaluate the day’s water and elevation and mileage, it’s light enough to see by. I touch the things I’d hoped would be dry – my wind shirt, my socks, my gaiters – and find them all still damp, and in the case of the last two, that were cozied up under my sleeping pad all evening, more damp than they were before. The magic of the Cascades. Continue reading